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Johnson grateful for chance after callup

Utility player was swinging bat well at Triple-A
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Following the demotions of former first-overall pick Dansby Swanson and right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair, the Braves recalled right-hander Jason Hursh on Thursday and utility man Micah Johnson from Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday to fill in the vacant 25-man roster positions.

Johnson fractured his left wrist laying out down the left-field line in a Spring Training game against the Phillies in March. After undergoing surgery and rehab, Johnson tore it up at the plate in Triple-A, hitting .378 with a .452 on-base percentage in 11 games.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Following the demotions of former first-overall pick Dansby Swanson and right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair, the Braves recalled right-hander Jason Hursh on Thursday and utility man Micah Johnson from Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday to fill in the vacant 25-man roster positions.

Johnson fractured his left wrist laying out down the left-field line in a Spring Training game against the Phillies in March. After undergoing surgery and rehab, Johnson tore it up at the plate in Triple-A, hitting .378 with a .452 on-base percentage in 11 games.

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"I had a lot of time to think, a lot of dry swings in my living room," Johnson said of his time off. "Just really that, thinking about your approach and kind of realizing that baseball is fun. Getting it taken away from you, you kind of forget, you have time to think and reflect that it's fun being out there."

The injury, however frustrating, gave Johnson some perspective.

"I didn't feel like my swing was where it needed to be [in Spring Training]," Johnson said. "Then I take time and was able to come back and drive the baseball when I came back. It's kind of like a blessing in disguise. God had a plan and gave me a chance to really evaluate my swing and my game and what I really love about baseball, and it propelled me here."

A bench bat, especially a versatile one like Johnson, provides the Braves with lots of options. He's played the vast majority of his innings at second base, over 3,500 in the Minors since 2012 when he was drafted in the ninth round. With the Braves, he's played solely second in 36 games. But in the Minors he's dabbled at all three outfield positions.

"He's been swinging the bat real well," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He has skills, he can run, he swings the bat really well, he'll be a good addition to our bench."

"I'm going to do whatever I can in whatever role they need me," Johnson said. "Just come everyday preparing for every single role that I could possibly be in." 

His goal?

"Just blend in."

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Atlanta Braves, Micah Johnson